Superintendent’s Letter to the Community on the Violence in Israel and Gaza

Lansdowne, PA – October 12, 2023

Dear WPSD Community,

We continue to be deeply shocked and saddened by the news and images we are seeing coming out of Israel and the Gaza Strip. The terror attack perpetrated by Hamas against Israel and resulting declaration of war by Israel against Hamas in the Gaza Strip has led to numerous casualties and injuries on both sides. There is an ongoing hostage crisis of Israeli citizens being held in Gaza and millions of innocent civilians in harm’s way.

As each day goes by and we learn more about the atrocities that happened in Israel and what continues to transpire as peace seems elusive, my heart hurts. The terror is unthinkable, and I feel for the families of those who were killed, kidnapped, and worse and who are suffering immensely.

These images and stories, while upsetting to us all, can be particularly difficult for children and teens to process. Through social media, they are exposed to images and news, including false news, at a rate of which we are not always aware. The uncertainty of what is happening can be overwhelming – for us all. Additionally, it is important to note that some of our staff, students, families, and community members may have family members or friends directly impacted by the ongoing conflict.

Our focus at the William Penn School District will continue to be on ensuring our schools remain safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments for our students, staff, and families. We ask that we all support one another during these uncertain and worrying times, and understand that bullying or discrimination will not be tolerated.

Furthermore, we want you to know that counselors are always available to our students who may need a little extra help dealing with difficult events. For our families, if you believe your child may be struggling, please encourage them to speak with a counselor at any time. As educators, we must make sure we provide a safe space for all members of our community to learn about current events and process their emotions.

We hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the near future. As always, thank you for your support.


Dr. Eric J. Becoats